Mercury X is a progressive metal band from Sweden which actually formed in 2013 in Norrtälje which is close to Stockholm and the members all met whilst studying music together at school. The band released two independent albums in That’s Blasphemy in 2014 and Between Worlds in 2017 which both raised a great deal of interest and finally they have been picked up by a major label with Imprisoned being their first of (hopefully) many to come.
The band comprises Martin Björklund on lead vocals, guitar and violin, Denis Diaz on drums and vocals, Jonas Vedin on guitar and Alfonso Flores on bass. The latest album is an excellent offering and sees a new band starting out on a long journey with Imprisoned being an exceptionally strong and mature debut on Frontiers. Just the five tracks but the central piece is a 20-minute epic which is sure to raise eyebrows and marks them very much as a band to watch closely as the material suggests a group more than capable of rising to the heights of Redemption, Fates Warning, Seventh Wonder etc. Martin Björklund has a most expressive voice which is eminently suitable for the slower, more reflective passages but he really can turn on the power and range when called to do so. His guitar work alongside Jonas Vedin is wonderful and they both deliver up a series of delicious riffs that drives the album ever onwards and upwards.
Imprisoned is progressive metal with everything in control with excesses completely taken out of the game so what you get is what is required which means that everything is in harmony and with a real stability. Having said that, the boys do like to break free so there are plenty of opportunities for the air guitar to come out. Powerful bass and drums ensure that the energy level never drops but they do not overpower which allows for some really delicate and intricate passages that completely thrill. What stands out is that the band does not seem to have set out with any major influences on the music, rather they have written five most melodic songs with some lovely vocal harmonies that are unique to the band and not intended to be like or sound like Dream Theater or Queensryche and it is always nice to see a band with a totally independent attitude.
Mercury X has the skills, songs and attitude to go all the way and Imprisoned is a very strong step on the road and I’m certain that Mercury X is one of those bands that make a quantum leap with every album released.